Here we are for the first ever Devil Rays live game blog. We are now in the Belly of the Beast. We are in New York City, a stone’s throw from Yankee Stadium. We will be “broadcasting” from the comfort of a couch, a computer, a big TV, and a fridge stocked with beer. We really have no idea what we are doing. We kinda feel naked here. Who knows, if we drink enough, maybe we will be. So whether you are stuck at work or at home, follow along AFTER THE JUMP as the Devil Rays take their first step towards .500 and the 2010 World Series! We will also keep an eye on the Reds-Cubs game as Josh Hamilton will be making his major league debut.

OPENING DAY 2007 DEVIL RAYS @ YANKEES LIVE GAME BLOG
OK, here we go. We are less than half a mile from yankee stadium. We were tempted to find a bar near the stadium with wireless access. But then we realized that may not be so smart in the south Bronx with a bunch of drunken Yankees fans. We would probably end up with a shaved head, a Yankees tattoo and one less laptop.
CLICK HERE FOR LIVE GAME BLOG…
Here are today’s lineups. No surprises.

Carl Crawford, lf
Ben Zobrist, ss
Rocco Baldelli, DH
Ty Wigginton, 1b
Delmon Young, rf
Akinori Iwamura, 3b
Dioner Navarro, c
Elijah Dukes, cf
B.J. Upton, 2B
Scott Kazmir, p

We love BenZo in the #2 spot. He could really flourish there in a Jay Bell-mold. Getting on base a lot. Working pitchers. Taking pitches to give C C plenty of chances to steal. Lot of moving runners over with bunts or ground balls to the right side.

We are a little surprised that Delmon is in the #5 hole, but who else was Papa Joe going to put there?

BJ Upton in the #9 hole basically gives the Rays two lead off hitters.

Yankees
Matt Damon, cf
Derek Jeter, ss
Bobby Abreu, rf
Alex Rodriguez, 3b
Jason Giambi, dh
Hideki Matsui, lf
Jorge Posada, c
Robinson Cano, 2B
Josh Phelps, 1b
Carl Pavano, p

Basically an all-star at every position.

I thought about giving you everybody’s 2007 salary to show you the disparity between the Rays and Yanks, but by the time I got done with the Yankees, the Zero key on my keyboard would be broken. We will just say that A-Rod makes almost as much as the entire Rays 40-man roster

12:59 PM
Andrew Friedman was interviewed by Carl Ravich of ESPN a little bit ago. I am now convinced more than ever that he is 12.

During the interview they had a graphic that says the Rays pitching staff has 14 career saves. Mo Rivera could do that with his left arm.

Andrew Friedman stated that team wouldn’t ask to move out of AL East. Nobody thinks the team can compete, but the players and franchise accept the challenge of proving them wrong. He called it “entrepreneurial”. We call it crazy.

Also said that they will never be able to keep all the players (past free agency) but hopefully there will be enough young talent that the team CAN’T keep everybody. Need to continue having one of the best development systems in baseball. Most players enter free agency around their age 28 season, which is the middle of their prime. Hopefully the Rays can get some more of their players to sign long term deals at least past their first year or two of free agency. It will stink to see a player grow and develop for 6 years as a Ray, only to jump ship.

1:06
We are going to start with the local Yankee broadcast. We thought about going with the Rays radio with the game on mute, but i always love hearing what other teams announcers have to say about the Rays.

Carl Pavano is walking out and he hasnt pitched in a major league game in over 600 days. Surprising i didnt hear any boos as he was walking in from bullpen

1:09
MLB.com has a their gameday revamped and looks pretty nice.

TOP OF THE FIRST
First pitch is a ball to Carl Crawford and we are under way!

CC took the pitch to left and it goes in the books as a single, but lets just call it a double.

CC took off on the second pitch and there wasnt even a throw

BenZo has worked the count full…Fouled one off…Swing and a miss and BenZo is down on strikes. (1 out)

Nice to see Rocco (AKA Bubble Boy) in the opening day lineup for the first time since 2004.

Long drive to left center, tracked down by Matsui. Crawford tags to third.

Wiggy is up and he pops up to third in foul territory. AND AROD DROPS IT! And the boo birds are out already.

Wiggy bounces a 1-1 pitch back to the mound, and he is retired. (END OF THE FIRST)

Bottom of the first
Arod has the option to opt out of his contract and he said a few weeks ago that he would let the fans decide if he was staying. Id say he is in a new uniform next season

Kid K takes the mound…announcers are commenting on how too many strike outs is bad for Kazmir

Leadoff hitter, Damon gets a basehit to right

Joe Girardi just said he cant consider Kaz an ace because he throws too many pitches and desnt work deep enough in games. Arrggg

Jeter, AROD’s boyfriend, flies out to Delmon

(where the hell is the beer man?)

Abreu singles to right…Arod walks to the plate to a mixture of boos and cheers

Yankees are wearing black arm bands for Corey Lidle.

They just showed a fan in the stands with an ARod jersey. it has always bugged me that Yankees fans have the pinstripe jerseys with the name on the back when the team doesnt have names on their jerseys. How is that authentic? or even a replica?

Kaz is already up to 17 pitches as the count is full to Arod

Runners go and Arod strikes out. No throw from Navi. and the boos are getting louder for Arod.

2 outs, 2nd and third

Kaz looks a little bigger this year. His face looks like it has aged about 5 years. He finally looks his age.

Giambino just got a 2-run single. Well that was deflating. I think that is 19 pitches for Kaz. Looks like we will be seeing the bullpen by the 6th inning. thats not good.

its quickly 3-0 on Matsui

sorry…that is now 29!! pitches for Kaz. and #30 walks Matsui. Let me correct that earlier statement. We will be seeing our revamped bullpen by the 5th inning.

The announcers just predicted 1000 runs for the Yankees this season. In comparison, the Rays scored 689 in 2006.

Our first shot of Joe Maddon. We love day baseball games for a lot of reasons. Mainly it gives an excuse to start drinking in the afternoon. But we also love that Papa Joe puts his eyeglasses away and brings out the much better looking sunglasses. Of course, it is an overcast day here in NYC, so not sure why he needs them.

Kaz, finally gets out of the first by getting Georgie Posada to pop up to our new second baseman BJ “dont call me Melvin” Upton.

TOP OF THE SECOND
final tally for Kid K in the first. 35 pitches (18 stries, 17 balls)

Delmon young who never saw a pitch he didnt like, hacks at the first and flies out to Johnny Damon

Holy little people! Akinori Iwamura is a tiny guy. I’m talking Eckstein-small. I dont care how small the Japanese ba
llparks are, how did he ever hit 40 home runs.

Muu-Rah is on first after a throwing error by Jeter. rod looks at Jeter as if to say “you suck, i could have had that”

Navi is up, a former top prospect for the Yankees.

flies out to center. and here is the Man…Elijah Dukes

and here we go with the usual..”world of talent…attitude problems”

it amazes me that pitchers throw Delmon Young first pitch strikes, and Dukes they pitch around. he works the count full and gets a walk. Dukes has great plate discipline

and here is BJ Upton…all 120 pounds of him…BASEHIT! up the middle under Jeters mitt. Muu-Rah comes around to score and Dukes goes to third and Upton goes to second on throw.

Crawford flies out to center to end the frame. but it feels good to get the first run on the board.

BOTTOM OF THE SECOND (Yankees 2-1)
Thank you to those that pointed out that the JUMP wasnt working. I think we got it fixed.

Robbie Cano is up. must be rough to have a guy who almost won a batting title, batting 8th in the order. Kaz gets him on strikes.

Former Rays first baseman Josh Phelps is up. Wasnt given much of a chance of making team but hit over .400 in spring to earn opening day nod over Mientiviecz or whatver that guys name is. Kaz walks Phelps. another long count

Jesus just popeed out to Wiggy in front of the plate

Jeter is hit by pitch. Kaz is struggling with his control. cant tell if its nerves of opening day in Yankee stadium or the weather. maybe a bit of both.

Abreu grounds out on a slow roller to third and Muu-Rahs first chance is a good play but the throw was a little off. Kaz is out of the inning without any damage. Only 14 pitches that inning, but he is up to 49 already

TOP OF THE THIRD
Bobby Murcer is in the booth. Murcer, a former yankee slugger and current yankees announcer suffered from a brain tumor this off-season, but all signs are that he is going to be ok. one of the great voices in baseball.

BenZo grounds out to Jeter and amazingly he didnt boot it.

Rocco pops up to Josh Phelps and Wiggy grounds his seond offering to Arod. That was quick.

BOTTOM OF THE THIRD
Arod grounds out to BenZo and he is now one more plate appearance away from opting out of his contract at teh end of the year. Although the boos were lessened that time. Crowd is starting to get bored booing him

The Giambino went down on strikes

Matsui grounds out to first. Kid K’s first 1,2,3 inning. Only 14 pitches that frame. but he up to 63 for the game. Not good. looks like he will be 5 innings and out today. Hopefully the Rays will score 20 more runs before we have to unleash the fury of our bullpen.

TOP OF THE FOURTH (YANKS 2-1)
The weather still hasn’t cleared up. Overcast and chilly.

Delmon Young is up and I wouldnt have believed it if i didnt see it, but he took a Ball! Delmon had one walk in 128 plate appearances in 2006. And this time he goes down on strikes.

The Japanese David Eckstein is up…also known as Aki Iwamura.

Muu-Rah draws a walk and Navi promtly grounds into an inning ending double play. For a guy who hasnt pitched in 14 years, the rays sure are helping him look good today.

BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH (YANKS 2-1)
Where is that beer man?

Georgie Posada is up, and he just hit his 199th career home run to right field. 3-1 Yanks. It was a change up that just didnt get down. I like to call those 400-foot strikes.

Robbie Cano is up and he pops out to left.

Beer man…make it two.

Josh Phelps is up again. Not sure about Phelps. He has shown promise before. But he usually disappoints. If i had to guess, Phelps will be down on the farm by the all-star break and the more slick fielding Doug Mientjfoijfoijfijij will be manning the bag on the right side of the infield.

Phelps walks

Jesus walks

JOSH HAMILTON is NOT in the lineup today for the Reds. We will keep an out to see if he pinch hits at any point.

Kaz now has 4 walks and a hit batter and Jim Hickey just made his first visit to the mound as a Rays pitching coach. Boy he has his work cut out for him this season

Jeter goes down looking. thats Kid K’s 4th strikeout.

Abreu grounds out to end the inning

TOP OF THE FIFTH (Yanks 3-1)
Elijah DUKES HOME RUN!!!!
his first major league hit is a home run at Yankee Stadium. Dukes was the one player we were pumped to see play today and he is not dissapointing. He gave a big fist pump rounding first. You gotta love the emotion.

Upton follows with a basehit

Upton goes…and not even close. Thats what the Rays need from Bossman Junior. get on base. and wreck havoc with the speed. He has the talent to be Jose Reyes. We’ll see.

CC is up with no outs. groundball through the right side. Upton comes home, Crawford gets cought in a pickle between first and second, but Phelps throws it into center. all tied up 3-3.

Benny Boo Boo, he of the hot Christian rock singing wife, has a chance to give the Rays the lead for the first time. He is 0-2.

BenZo tries to move CC over, but instead of just making sure the bunt was down, he tried to drag bump and the ball hits him after he was out of the box. Joe Maddoncomes out to argue but it looks like a good call. Zobrist is out.

Wait…Maddon argued a call? He must be a fembot.

CC is almost picked off second. he is thinking third.

Rocco drives a ball into left field and Crawford comes around to score. Rays are now up 4-3 and th boo birds come out for Pavano. Joe Torre is going to mound. That will be it.

As he walks off the field, there is nice mix of boos and cheers.

Brian Bruney comes on to pitch, proving that the Yankees do have somebody that makes less than $14 million per season.

Rocco steals second. The rays third swipe of the day. Surprising as Rocco is the DH today bc he has a sore hamstring. Why is stealing bases if he is not healthy enough to play the field?

Delmon young, obviously mad about not hitting first pitch last time, deposits the first pitch into left field for an RBI single. 5-3 Rays.

with 2 outs, lets see if Delmon takes off for 2nd.

and he does and he is thrown out by a mile. end of the inning.

BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH (Rays 5-3)
before we get too excited about taking the lead, Kaz has 84 pitches in 4 innings. He will go 5, but can he go 6?

And just like that, Kid K puts the Yanks down 1-2-3 on only 10 pitches. The Rays needed that from their ace

TOP OF THE SIXTH (Rays 5-3)

Sean Penn comes on for the Yankees?

Sorry…Sean HENN

And Aki gets his first major league hit top left field.

Aki predicted he wanted 40 stolen bases this year. lets see if Maddon trusts him

Navi grounds into his second double play of the afternoon. and Dukes follows up his first major league home run by flying out to Abreu

BOTTOM OF THE SIXTH (Rays 5-3)
Shawn Camp is warming up in the pen, uh oh,

Johnny Damon has come down with a case of Rocco Baldelli-itus…he is out of the game with sore hamstrings…both of them? Melky cabrera take his place.

Georgie Posada has Kazmir’s number today. basehit to left

we are not th
e first to say it, but for those of you that are not old enough, Robbie Cano’s swing looks an awful lot like Rod Carew. except for the angle he holds the bat. the actual swing is identical.

and he does just what Carew loved to do. rifle a single to right field.

that will be it for Kazmir. Here comes Shawn Camp. Well, the lead was nice while it lasted.

Kid K’s final line 5 ip, 6 hits, 4 walks, 1 hit batter, 5 strike outs and 3 runs. but the most telling number was 107. the number of pitches it took him to go 5+ innings. its like deja vu all over again.

with the righty on the mound…Mientckdjfldkjf pinch hits for Josh Phelps and sacrifice bunts the runners over. 1 out, 2nd and 3rd.

Not content with only two runners on base. Camp hits Melky

Jim Hickey is back out to the mound. no word if anybody is warming. Check that, Brian Stokes is warming up.

Sun is starting to come out…3-1 to Jeter and there are no empty bags

basehit right up the middle and we are tied. Thats why Jeter is so great and so important. Big Papi is clutch with the late home runs, but I put mymoney on DJ every time. He is as clutch as it gets.

Thats it for Camp. Here comes starter-turned-reliever-because-the- Rays-have nobody-else-they can-depend-on Brian Stokes.

Still no sign of Hamilton in the Red game.

Tough spot for Stokes in only his second major league relief appearance

Stokes gets Abreu to fly out to Dukes and Melky stumbled faking a tag up and the Rays double him up. end of the inning.

the Rays will have Upton/Crawford/Zobrist in the top of the 7th

TOP OF THE SEVENTH (Tied 5-5)
Luis Vizcaino is on the mound for the Yanks

Upton fakes a bunt to bring ARod in a little more
then flys out to center

CC takes the first pitch to left field and flies out

BenZo flies out to center and thats the end of the inning.

BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH (tied 5-5)
Stokes is still out there with Arod leading off. he is 0-3
make that 1-4, as ARod drives one past Zobrist. Zobrist is lucky to still be alive after that one.

to lefties coming up (Giambi and Matsui) and no lefties in the pen

ARod just stole 2nd. Close throw by Navi. Apparently that one was on Stokes for not keeping him close. And Giambi drives a ball through the right side and a good throw by Delmon could have had ARod but it was off-line and cut off by Wiggy. 6-5 Yankees.

Matsui is up (0-2). He flies out to CC in left. 1out

Georgie Posada is one Yankee sad to see Kazmir out of the game. He moves to the other side of the plate against Stokes. He is 2-3 with a home run

he flies out to right, and Delmon almost doubled up Giambi off first. what a throw.

Should I note now that the Rays have lost 31 of 34 on the road? I didnt think so.

Cano pops up to Upton. end of inning.

TOP OF THE EIGHTH (Yanks 6-5)
Better score here or else it is Mo Rivera in the 9th and lights out.

Kyle Farnsworth is on the mound and he is looking an awful lot like Britney Spears

Rocco is up. He is 1-3 with a ribbie.

Farnsworth gets him swinging. 1 out

Wiggy is 0-3

and he gets his first hit of the season. a line drive up the middle

Delmon Young is up. 1-3. and of course he swings at the first pitch. We read somehwere that he wung at the first pitch 67% of the time in 2006. Thats amazing.

Aki is up. 1-2 with a run scored.

And he grounds out to second to end the inning. Do we have to play the 9th inning?

BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH (Yanks 6-5)
Doug Mientjsd;lfkjija gets an infield single off of new Rays pitcher Ruddy Lugo. could have been error on Upton. he tried to bare hand it and probably didnt have to.

Melky is up and he bunts Dougie Baseball over to second. Papa Joe is out of the dugout and thats it for Lugo.

We were just taken aback a bit. our stat page said we have had over 1000 unique visitors since the beginning of the game. that seemed an awful lot for a love blog. then we realized we were just listed on Deadspin.

Juan Salas comes on to face Jeter who is 1-3 with the tying and go-ahead RBI.

Salas apparently didnt shy away from the all-you-can-eat buffet this off-season

Jeter grounds out to Iwamura

Abreu is up. He is 1-4.

Abreu singles to left. doug mientsdfvsrev scores from 2nd. a good throw from CC and he is out.

And ARod just destroyed a pitch to center field. 2-run home run. 9-5 yankees. might as well warm up Frank Sinatra.

Yankees fans crack me up. They have booed ARod all day and now they give him a standing ovation. What have you done for me lately?

The Giambino flied out to Dukes. end of inning. Enter Sandman? with a 4-runlead? Tomorrow is an off-day.

TOP OF THE NINTH (Yankees 9-5)
And here comes the Sandman. The single most valuable player in baseball in the last 15 years.

Navi goes down swinging. And Big Mo made him look bad.

0-2 to Dukes. The crowd is on their feet. and he goes down swinging.

Upton is 2-3 with a run and an RBI.

And he goes down looking. Never had a chance.

Thats the game. 9-5 Yankees.

Feel free to check back here every little while over the next hour. We are switching over to the Reds game to see if Josh Hamilton gets an AB today.

Thanks for stopping by. It’s been fun and a learning experience.

BOTTOM OF THE 8th in Cincinnati. Reds up 5-1 and Josh Hamilton is making his major league debut.

Huge Standing ovation, and Lou Piniella is icing Josh by just now going out to change the pitcher.

#33 steps in

we are rooting hard for Josh

line drive to left, and Murton makes a sliding catch.

Welcome to the big leagues Josh. big hug from Griffey. And a huge smile on his face

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